How many times have I heard the statement: “without _________, it’s just not worship for me.”? Sadly, too many times. It seems that our American desire to “have it our way” has crept into our worship. God said in Exodus 20:3 (NIV) “You shall have no other Gods before me.”

When most people say “worship” what they mean is music. See, there really is no such thing as contemporary worship because the way we worship God is on
His terms and He never changes and never updates because He doesn’t need to!

The so-called “Worship Wars” (should be called “Music Wars” IMHO) exists because of one thing: pride. We are convinced that “we” have a corner on worship and therefore “this is the only way it can be done”. In the words of an old song “Can’t we just all get along?”

Perhaps the late Dr. Robert Webber was right when he advised that the most Biblically-centered approach to music in worship is a balanced/blended/convergent one. The modern church is so fragmented and separate. In many churches today, we divide ourselves based on music. In and of itself, this isn’t a bad thing but the question must always be asked: what is the object of our worship anyway?

This brings me to my title. I asked our worship teams and choir at church one night “What do you HAVE to have to worship?” And I challenged them to fill in the blank: “I need _____ to worship.” Ask yourself that question. Fill in the blank. For YOU, what do HAVE to have present in order to worship God.

After a few minutes I shared with our worship leaders that whatever they put in the “blank” was the object of their worship. Did they have to have a rock song in order to worship? A hymn? Piano? Guitar? Organ? Hand clapping? Perfection? Music? A sermon? A testimony? For most people, the answer is something that God NEVER told us was a requirement of worship. In one of Jesus’ greatest discourses in worship He said,
“Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.” (John 4:23).

Hmm…did you notice the requirement: spirit and truth. Did he even mention “church” as we know it? Did he mention music, sermons, prayers, or testimonies? These things are not, IN ANY WAY, wrong or bad but the object of worship is the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The requirements are spirit and truth.

Imagine that: God has already put an end to the “Worship Wars”.